With the plaudits from an acclaimed mainstage performance at last weekend’s Bloodstock Open Air Festival still ringing in their ears, Northampton’s Krysthla are striking while their stock is on the rise, with the impending release of their third album ‘Worldwide Negative’. 2017’s ‘Peace In Our Time’ album brought the five piece some of their best reviews, as well as bringing them legions of new fans. Fast forward to 2019, two years older, two years more experience on the road, two years in which the world has gone to shit. Enter ‘Worldwide Negative’, a pressure cooker of an album that needs venting every few minutes, otherwise it’s going to explode.
‘Worldwide Negative’ displays a real growth within Krysthla, the song writing, the standard of musicianship, and the crucial production (from guitarist/vocalist Neil Hudson) have all come on leaps and bounds since ‘Peace In Our Time’. The extreme side to Krysthla’s music is still very much prevalent, but there are also other facets to the album. ‘Aurea Mediocritas’ (Latin for ‘the moderate course’) for instance leans heavily towards more of a prog metal feel, an extreme prog metal feel though. The killer bass lines from Carl Davis will rattle the fillings free from your mouth, especially when he has a brief flourish around the four minute mark. Along with some intricate drum work from Liam Turland, it’s quite a technical five minutes or so. If ‘Aurea Mediocritas’ is all about the technical skills of Turland, then tracks like ‘Negative’ and ‘The Gift’ are all about the brutality in his playing.
Another interesting aspect to ‘Worldwide Negative’ is the gradual use of clean vocals. Adi Mayes possesses an almighty set of pipes and is constantly pushing himself to the max, although his vocals are harsh, they remain crystal clear thanks to the production and certainly leave an impression. To compliment the harsh vocals, guitarist/producer/mixer/engineer/tea-boy Neil Hudson pops up (when he has a spare minute) on certain tracks (’Reawaken’ and ‘Zero Sum Game’), with some melodic clean vocals that strike up a nice balance with the growls from Mayes. It’s not a case of Krysthla toning down their sound, it’s more a case of making it more expansive. Talking of expansive, check out the atmospheric grooves on ‘White Castles’, which at times, brings up an image of Behemoth coming over all prog during soundcheck when no-one is watching. The guitar work from Hudson and fellow six-stringer Noel Davis is immense throughout, as it is during the entire album.
In an ideal world, a decent sized band will have picked up on the response Krysthla received at Bloodstock, and take them out on the road during one of the many tours coming our way during October and November. They have the chops and they certainly have the material to impress.
‘Worldwide Negative’ is released 16th August 2019 via PHD. More details here.
25 Aug – NOTTINGHAM, Ye Olde Salutation Inn
07 Sept – NUNEATON, Queens Hall
13 Sept – LIVERPOOL, EBGB’S
14 Sept – UPRISING (w/ Napalm Death, Acid Reign, OHHMS)
27 Sept – GLASGOW, Nice N’ Sleazy
28 Sept – DUNDEE, Hordes X
29 Sept – INVERNESS, The Market Bar
6 Dec – READING, Facebarmageddon
15 Feb – HRH METAL, Birmingham
10 Apr – ABERTILLERY, Dementia Awareness Festival
Review – Dave